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Download The Gates of Africa: Death, Discovery and the Search for Timbuktu fb2, epub

by Sattin Anthony

Download The Gates of Africa: Death, Discovery and the Search for Timbuktu fb2, epub

ISBN: 0007122330
Author: Sattin Anthony
Language: English
Publisher: Harper Collins; First Edition edition (2003)
Pages: 320
Category: Africa
Subcategory: Travels
Rating: 4.5
Votes: 201
Size Fb2: 1433 kb
Size ePub: 1958 kb
Size Djvu: 1470 kb
Other formats: rtf docx txt azw


Jim Blackburn, Wanderlust & "The Gates of Africa", Anthony Sattin has excelled himself'. Bottom line is that this is a good read for anyone interested in Africa and the age of exploration, but not a uniquely outstanding book. 6 people found this helpful.

Jim Blackburn, Wanderlust & "The Gates of Africa", Anthony Sattin has excelled himself'. Conde Nast Traveller & highly readable and in places ironically humorous, a well-rounded and definitive study. Martin Booth, Sunday Times & extraordinary panorama of adventure, scholarship, intellectual enterprise and ideological conviction, enlivened by frequent splashes of eccentricity and beautifully written throughout.

Journalist and travel writer Sattin (The Pharaoh's Shadow, et. pens a remarkable history of the African Association, the . pens a remarkable history of the African Association, the world's first geographical society. Formed in London in 1788 by wealthy patrons who believed that Africa needed to be explored and mapped more fully, the Association aimed to find the fabled city of Timbuktu, discover the course of the Niger and locate the source of the Nile.

The Gates of Africa book. The Gates of Africa is a story of human courage and fatal ambition, a groundbreaking insight into the struggle to reveal the secrets of Africa.

Martin Booth, Sunday Times

Martin Booth, Sunday Times. The Gates of Africa tells a gripping story that has never been adequately told before and does so with style and scholarship. A remarkable story told remarkably well. Times Higher Educational Supplement.

бесплатно, без регистрации и без смс. Due to the level of detail, maps are best viewed on a tablet. The history of the African Association, the world's first geographical society, dedicated to the exploration of the interior of a continent known. The history of the African Association, the world's first geographical society, dedicated to the exploration of the interior of a continent known only through legend and vague report. Africa was once seen as an El Dorado - a gold-encrusted continent of hope and prosperity, where the ancient civilisations of the Phoenicians and the Egyptians might have survived intact

The Gates of Africa is a story of human courage and fatal ambition, a groundbreaking insight into the struggle to reveal the secrets of Africa.

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The Gates of Africa - Anthony Sattin. Books on the history of African geography are dominated by the stories of Burton and Speke and their contemporaries, particularly Livingstone and Stanley, Grant, and Samuel and Florence Baker. The names that stand out are almost exclusively Victorian.

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Comments:

Whitebinder
It may be surprising to some (it was certainly surprising to me) that less was known about the interior of Africa at the turn of the 18th century than was known about the New World or the South Pacific. The coast around Africa had been heavily explored (and exploited) by Europeans, but virtually nothing was known about the interior. This book details the attempts by individuals and small groups to penetrate, map, and detail truth from reality about the interior of Africa during the late 18th and early 18th century. Various scholars, adventure seekers, and glory hunters tried to cross the Sahara and penetrate northern Africa to find the legendary city of Timbuktu, the source of the Niger, and new possibilities for trade to bypass the Moorish middlemen. Some tried by starting in Egypt and heading west, others by starting in (or around) Gambia and trekking east. Virtually all of them died in the attempt.

There is a lot to like in this book. It uncovers a fascinating and totally unknown (to me at least, probably to many others) era of history. While Bonaparte was stomping around Europe, a small group of scholars was actively engaged in trying to learn more about their world, in spite of the upheaval in Europe. Joseph Banks and some of his wealthy comrades in England would regularly commission various individuals and groups to attempt to penetrate Africa to find Timbuktu and the source of the Niger. The goals were nominally scientific - to ascertain the position of various landmarks, rumored cities, etc., but as the expeditions failed and the situation in Europe changed, the goals evolved to become more economic and geo-political. Roughly 40% of this book is effectively a travelogue in which the exploits of the various explorers is recounted. In some cases the journals of these explorers has survived and Sattin has reconstructed the tales of their adventures. It would have taken some big cojones to attempt what some of these brave (foolish?) men did.

There are several reasons why I only give this work four stars. First, roughly 60% of the book covers the political machinations of Joseph Banks and his cronies. This is important to the story, but I wanted to read more about Africa, not about wealthy Londoners. Too much time is spent in London. I wanted to learn more about the explorers, the people and wildlife and terrain in Africa, etc. and less about Banks and crew. Second, this isn't the kind of book most people are going to need to add to their collection. It is now out of print as I write this review (26JUL09), but I wouldn't spend my money again to buy it. Definitely readable, but as a relatively expensive hardback, not really collectible. I won't be returning to it again and again. Third, the ending is really disappointing. Someone finally makes it across the country, and that's it. There were lots of loose threads that could really have been tied up together, and the narrative could have been taken a bit further. It was almost as if Sattin just got tired of writing and ended the story at a convenient point.

Bottom line is that this is a good read for anyone interested in Africa and the age of exploration, but not a uniquely outstanding book.
Goodman
This is a great book on early exploration (18th and 19th centuries) of the northern half of Africa. I did not know we knew so little about Africa not too long ago. The men who explored this area were real adventurers. Unfortunately their efforts and sacrifices cost them all their lives. It was an eye opener to learn slavery trade was an African staple. .
Browelali
I really enjoyed this look into European exploration of this region. Insights into what drove various individuals as well as the lack of knowledge of the regions these men ventured into provide an interesting perspective on early explorers.
Stonewing
A very well researched non-fiction book that reads like a fictional story of heroic adventurers and their dangerous (often fatal) journeys to discover a new land.

I'm currently a Peace Corps volunteer in Senegal, so it was exciting to learn about the first adventurers in the region that I am currently living
Endieyab
This book makes a good compilation of the exploration efforts to find a way to Timbuktu, elucidate the geographic realities in Western Africa with the three big rivers Gambia, Senegal and first of all the Niger. This is also the story of the African Association and the biographies of some courageous and gifted men who did not fear death to make an achievement that must deem as under-ambitious today, but would have secured them imperishable fame and place in the annals of the discoveries of the world. Instead most of them didn`t even make it to a burial in Westminster Abbey, rather in an unknown sand pit.
The author knows to develop entertaining excitement, but apparently failed to keep to it all the end, loosing the last breath to write down what and who finally brought the knowledge the explorers in West Africa were out for. For the successful explorers the author has only a few pages left. Maybe he felt it was time to finish the report. Caillié, who was the first to make it to Timbuktu and back to tell his story, was not commissioned by the African Association. Notwithstanding he should have been honoured with a little more observance.
North Africa and the greatest part of the West was muslim country. The Arabs dominated the trade and kept the black Africans under the threat of their slavery marketing. Their manners were mostly not at all civilized which made travelling for western people, notably Christians a risky affair.
Interestingly the author states on the last pages as for the difficulties of the explorers in obtaining the aimed for goals in 30 and more years of trials, that the greatest obstacles over the course of several missions and several deaths had proved to be neither climate, nor black natives nor even disease, no, it were the Moors, Muslims all, and Arab intermediaries between Europe and black Africa. But this idea came to the reader already long before the author mentioned it. So long is the list of the mistreatments by the rulers and controllers of the area. Muslims treated foreign travellers, especially suspected Christians between the Atlantic ocean and the Red sea, between the Gulf of Benin and the Mediterranean Sea not friendly, as the legend often tells, but regularly hostile, with a few exceptions. Either their company could not be trusted, so that caravans must be avoided by the explorers or journeys postponed, or they started from the beginning of the encounter to show how they wanted to deal with the Christians. Not amusing or healthy. Thus this forced the later travellers to learn fluent Arabic, disguise themselves as muslim traders or pilgrims. But even then they lost their lives after a always bewildering long ordeal of travel or hold out. The hardships over years can not be relived, even not - I presume - in an Egyptian or west-African prison of today. The travelling conditions of the end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th century in Africa cannot in the least be compared to that what we find today, even if we prefer to do it the camel way.
This book is also a homage to the African Association which made great advances in geography, launched some of the first truly scientific geographical expeditions, established a model for the Romantic explorer, paved the way for new commercial ties and helped create what remains one of the world`s foremost societies for geography and exploration. The great age of African exploration may have peaked in the second half of the nineteenth century, but it began in June 1788, when Sir Joseph Banks and the other members of the Saturday`s Club sat down to dinner at the St. Alban`s Tavernt.
For all who want to revive imaginative the exploration of Western Africa and want to make their own special way to Timbuktu this book should be the right introduction.
Malalrajas
A truly compelling and rivetting tale of the early exploration of Africa. By "early" I mean the previously little documented period of 1788-1830, prior to which virtually nothing was known of Africa's interior probably because almost all earlier travellers perished from thirst, starvation, disease, and hostile natives - most dangerous of all were the dreaded "Moors", whose self-proclaimed desert hospitality was invariably suspended whenever helpless and starving white explorers sought their compassion.

Virtually all the explorers sponsored by the African Association died on their journeys but decadent 21st century man must surely marvel at the incredible degree of honour and sense of duty possessed by these intrepid late 18th/early 19th century gentleman explorers.
Tansino
Excellent

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